Grouchy Horse

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How To Deal With A Grouchy Horse 
  2006 Cherry Hill
      www.horsekeeping.com

Becoming An Effective Rider
How To Think Like A Horse
Your Horse Barn DVD
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Dear Cherry:

I have been raising horses for several years,so, am familiar with breeding, raising, training, etc. I have a really pretty 4 year old gelding who is very talented. I just have a problem with his attitude. When ever asked to do something - it's an automatic ear back. He complies all the time, but with reluctance. I'm not used to this type of behavior so am in a quandary as to what the problem is. C


Dear C:

    Maybe you have done many of these things, but be sure to check that the grouchiness does not have a specific cause.

    First, so some detective work. Notice if the ears back, grouchiness appears at all times or just riding or just ground work or just when grooming or ????

    Does it seem to have a connection to rein pressure or signals or to carrying weight or to some other area that you can narrow things down a bit?

    In other words, try to categorize just WHEN it occurs. This will help you and would help me give you a more specific answer.

    Things that commonly are associated with grouchiness are:

  • tooth pain (he may be shedding some teeth and having problems)
  • back pain (saddle fit?)
  • lower limb lameness hoof pain when asked to move out, turn etc.
  • poorly fitting bridle
  • intestinal disorder and many other causes.

    If you can give me some examples of WHEN he is grouchy and WHEN he is not, perhaps I can give you a more specific answer. By the way, even when everything is OK, some horses are just naturally irritable and reluctant to comply. This can be caused by genetics, the dam, or early handling.

  

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